NPA's Hector Bremner wins council seat in Vancouver byelection
Jean Swanson finishes in second, Vision candidate 5th, in city's first byelection since 1992
The results are in: Hector Bremner will be Vancouver's newest city councillor.
Bremner, the Non-Partisan Association's candidate, finished with 27.8 per cent of the vote, with COPE-endorsed independent candidate Jean Swanson next at 21.4 per cent, with all polls reporting.
Bremner, who defeated two other people for the NPA's nomination, is a vice president for Pace Group, a public relations company, and was previously an executive assistant to former deputy premier Rich Coleman when the B.C. Liberals were in power.
The byelection was prompted after Geoff Meggs — a former Vision councillor — resigned to become Premier John Horgan's chief of staff.
Pete Fry of the Green Party finished with 20.3 per cent of the vote, Judy Graves of OneCity with 13.2 per cent, and Vision Vancouver candidate Diego Cardona finished in 5th place with 11.3 per cent.
In a statement, Mayor Gregor Robertson admitted it's not what his party was hoping for.
"We knew this byelection would be difficult. Our city faces real challenges. Vancouverites are frustrated — particularly around housing affordability — and they expect more from us. We're working hard to deliver solutions, but tonight's results show us there's much more work to do," he wrote.
"I heard that message loud and clear, and our party heard that message loud and clear."
While Bremner was considered politically to the right of the four other candidates who received more than 10 per cent of the vote, he rejected the premise that vote-splitting was the reason for his win.
"It was pretty clear we had a very powerful message, we had the right message. People have been deeply concerned about being priced out of the city, and we have the clear, credible plan. That's why people voted for us," he said.
The general election is 53 weeks away, and Bremner hopes the NPA's victory gives it momentum for the year ahead.
"We need to earn people's vote next year ... it's not a pendulum swing, it's not a flip from right to left and party to party," he said.
Nine candidates ran in the byelection and turnout was 10.99 per cent, a shade more than Vancouver's last byelection in 1992.